It’s a big week for appliance sales. Are you in the market for new energy efficient appliances? If you’re looking for something new, make sure you do your homework. Major appliances come with two price tags: the price you pay in store and the price you pay to run it over time.
Major Energy Consumers
What are the two biggest energy consumers in your house? If you guessed your refrigerator and your clothes dryer, you are right. Believe it or not, your standard dryer consumes more energy (796 kWh) per year than your average refrigerator (596 kWh). The washer comes next (590 kWh), followed by your dishwasher (206 kWh). Think about how much your family relies on just those four appliances on a daily basis, especially knowing that your refrigerator is always running and a washer and dryer may see multiple loads a day!
During this season of excellent sales, it’s easy to look for the lowest price for the best appliance. Keep in mind that low cost now may result in higher cost over the lifetime of the machine. Here are some things to think about before stepping out to make your purchase:
Bells and Whistles Matter
New technology makes home appliances smaller, smarter and more efficient. For example, new dryers have advance moisture sensors that can detect how dry your clothes are regardless of how much time is left on the timer. When the clothes are dry, the dryer turns off, even if there is time left on the clock. This saves your clothes (which don’t respond well to being over-dried) and saves energy as well.
Did you know that an Energy Star certified washing machine uses 45% less water than its non-certified counterparts? The average family could save upwards of 3,000 gallons of water a year if they chose a new washer with the Energy Star certification. Likewise, newer dishwashers use 10 gallons per cycle less than their older counterparts, saving another 3,000 gallons of water per year in the average American household.
Your old refrigerator is still running, but is it really working for you? If your refrigerator is 15 years or older, it uses twice as much energy as the energy-efficient models of today. That means that, over the next five years, your refrigerator will cost you $260 more to run than a model you pick up at the store this weekend. If the money doesn’t bother you, think about the cost to the planet: a 15-year-old refrigerator is dumping 8,200 pounds of carbon pollution into our atmosphere. With the new models in all shapes, sizes and styles, why not take a look at something new?
The Blue Energy Star Sticker Matters
Investing in an Energy Star certified appliance means that you are purchasing a machine that is scientifically proven to be energy efficient. Not every machine on the market earns the Energy Star sticker. To earn the Energy Star rating, a machine must outperform the counterparts in its class in energy use by a specific, standardized amount. Purchasing a machine with the blue sticker means that it will cost less to run your appliance over time thanks to reduced water and energy use. Impartial and trustworthy since 1992, Energy Star is a fantastic resource for learning more about the appliances you want to buy and how to make your home as efficient as possible.
Purchasing energy efficient appliances requires research and care. Seeking out multiple resources and asking trusted friends and family what they use is always advised. When you finally step into a store and start proverbially kicking the tires, be sure to look carefully for the Energy Star label and other efficiency indicators. Read the literature and find out how much it will cost to run that appliance over time. Sure, the up-front cost matters, but always keep in mind that you are starting a long-term relationship. With energy costs rising, prudent decisions now can save you serious money in the future!
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